Finding Happiness: A Lesson From ‘Trolls’

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I just finished watching Trolls the animated movie, as I rented it via Redbox for my daughter thinking she’d enjoy it. I didn’t expect to be shocked by how much I loved it and, yes, I actually cried during the movie. I loved the message.

The premise is that there are two worlds: The uber happy world of the Trolls, where they hug, sing, dance, and are perpetually elated all the time; Then there’s the miserable world of the Bergens, who are essentially depressed creatures that believe their happiness is solely reliant on consuming a Troll.

The young and single Bergen King grew up being told he could never be happy because he’s never had a Troll. In the meantime, one of his servants is transformed into a Bergen “Cinderella” thanks to the Trolls who befriend her, and the Bergen King is smitten. He falls in love with her and in the process a foreign feeling comes over him: Happiness.

There is one particular scene that really resonated with me. It demonstrates how a Troll can lose its vibrant color and turn grey. It can get discouraged and lose hope. It is only when hope is renewed that their colors beam again. Cue the scene where Justin Timberlake and Anna Kendrick beautifully sing the Cyndi Lauper hit, “True Colors.” Yup, I cried.

The premise of Trolls is simple enough. We spend so much of our energy on trying to attain things such as money, career, cars, and new houses that we think will make us happy. We think that if we can sign that book deal or make that new business contact we will finally be on the road towards happiness. Instead, that one elusive “thing” we have to have soon gets replaced by another “thing.” The cycle never stops.

The Bottom Line:

What is your Troll? What is the one thing you think you need that will make you happy? Of course some of us with a chemical imbalance do need to work extra hard to find happiness, and this requires much more than just taking meds. It requires exercise, sleeping well, eating right, and most importantly staying away from alcohol or whatever we use to self-medicate with. For me, it’s ridiculous to drink because alcohol is a depressant and makes my existing depression worse. But the initial buzz is literally intoxicating, promising to calm my anxiety and help me sleep. Especially red wine, which has been my preference. It makes me at one moment manic and the next stupefied. The sleep I do get is not the restful variety. I end up staying up really late, and as a result have a difficult time getting out of bed the next day. Trust me, been there, done that. Sobriety is my road moving forward.

Maybe we’ve got a little bit of the Bergens in us all. But, like the moral of the movie, having our Troll won’t make us perpetually happy. Happiness is already inside of us. We just have to tap into it and work it out daily, like a muscle.

Dalai Lama



19 thoughts on “Finding Happiness: A Lesson From ‘Trolls’

    emotionsoflife2016 said:
    March 8, 2017 at 10:17 AM

    Enjoyable read, you have a new reader

    Liked by 1 person

      Sonyo Estavillo responded:
      March 8, 2017 at 10:22 AM

      Thank you and I loved your quote on “Happiness” today by Dr. Seuss! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

        emotionsoflife2016 said:
        March 8, 2017 at 10:28 AM

        Thank you. You honor me with your comment. Stay awesome, by the way happy women’s day

        Liked by 1 person

        Sonyo Estavillo responded:
        March 8, 2017 at 11:18 AM

        Happy women’s day to you as well!!!

        Liked by 1 person

        emotionsoflife2016 said:
        March 8, 2017 at 12:09 PM

        Not a woman, but thank you. Lol

        Liked by 1 person

        Sonyo Estavillo responded:
        March 8, 2017 at 2:46 PM

        Oops…so sorry! LOL Sometimes it’s hard when you are reading things quickly and you briefly glance at images. I often reply on my cellphone, while I’m running around chasing after my toddler. Well, if you have a special woman in your life, happy women’s day to her! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    realryangray said:
    March 8, 2017 at 1:13 PM

    My “troll” is music. In a former life I was a musician playing in a couple of bands, and while I was merely average, playing music has always given me great satisfaction going back to when I was a kid. I look back at my life and the most fun I’ve ever had aside from being a kid with hardly a (real) worry in the world came when I was in college and when I was playing music religiously for the next 10-15 years after that. But as it always seems to do, life and work got in the way as did the need to make money. My guitars, bass and trumpet now sit in the closet, untouched. I briefly got back into playing guitar shortly before our daughter was born until she was about 8 months old. But once again life happened and more than a year has transpired since. Recently, actually, I have been thinking about this and my desire to start playing again, if only for myself and our daughter. Then I read your post and it literally struck a chord with me. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

      Sonyo Estavillo responded:
      March 8, 2017 at 2:33 PM

      I think you should totally start playing music again, though I know it takes time and you have to schedule it in. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    Samantha said:
    March 8, 2017 at 1:20 PM

    For me it’s reading and writing. The former to help me calm down and forget my worries for a moment, the latter to get rid of my worries and make my brains work out ways to make a story go smoothly.
    I get a special happy glow inside when I get to help someone, or am around animals. My pets always make me smile and I enjoy seeing them bounce around; it never gets old. When a scared dog finally takes courage to sniff my hand and let me pet him, I beam with happiness. And when I get to lift someone’s spirits or make their day a little better, I thrive.
    To conclude: travelling gives me an intense feeling of freedom and also makes me very happy. Maybe that’s why I always experience such amazing things when on holiday :p

    Liked by 2 people

      Sonyo Estavillo responded:
      March 8, 2017 at 2:37 PM

      I love animals too and have 2 dogs that are getting old. Abraham is 8 years old and Abigail is 7. I would love to travel more and will try to do so in the future. It’s fantastic that you can travel at least during the holidays. I agree with you writing and reading really makes me happy too. I have insomnia and so recently I’ve been going to bed early and reading at night for a few hours at a time. It’s been helping. Writing brings me a lot of satisfaction, but there are times when the desire to “make it right” during revisions can cause some stress. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

    YellowCable said:
    March 8, 2017 at 4:13 PM

    Such an insightful into our nature.

    Liked by 1 person

      Sonyo Estavillo responded:
      March 8, 2017 at 5:55 PM

      Thank you, have you watched “Trolls” if not, I recommend it. It’s brilliant. ❤


    stacilys said:
    March 9, 2017 at 9:31 AM

    This is a wonderful piece Sonyo, and I have to say that your ‘bottom line’ about taking care of ourselves (those of us with a chemical imbalance) really hits home. I never get enough sleep and it really takes a toll on me. I get super irritated and impatient. Gotta work on that more.
    As for the trolls and the message of material things satisfying… I’m a huge believer in treasures that are not paid for.
    Once again, brilliant piece. Please have a wonderful day in sunny California.
    🙂 ❤
    P.S. Did you know that your name means, "dream", in Portuguese? The pronunciation at least. It's spelled differently though, 'sonho.'
    🙂 ❤


    shivashishspeaks said:
    March 13, 2017 at 8:37 PM

    Nice post

    Liked by 1 person

    leadership2mommyship said:
    March 14, 2017 at 8:36 PM

    Great blog! And you and I think alike: Trolls is a great lesson on happiness. I kept thinking someone should write about that–and you did! nIce!

    Liked by 1 person

    […] cool and they’re fun. My toddler loves to explore electronic devices. I will allow her to watch Trolls, a movie we both love, on my iPad, but I monitor her closely. In this day and age, our kids don’t […]


    […] Sonyo Estavillo […]

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